Prices skyrocket for vintage pickups as customizers discover trucks

  • Mark Phelan
  • Detroit Free Press
12:00 a.m. Friday, Nov. 24, 2017 Cars
1957 Chevrolet 3100 PickupThis 1957 Chevrolet 3100 Custom Truck, better known as Quicksilver, is a 2014 Barrett-Jackson Cup winner and has been recognized as one of the finest custom truck builds of all times, according to Barret-Jackson Auction House. Laying claim to this honor came with a hefty price tag, and the truck was sold for $214,500 in Scottsdale, Arizona, in 2016. Nearly everything on this vehicle, from the 540 big-block, 650-horsepower Chevy engine, to the handmade and reshaped body panels, was customized by Hot Rod Garage in Sand Springs, Oklahoma. Chevrolet photo

Car collectors have discovered vintage pickups, and prices for really good ones reflect that.

As Chevrolet celebrates the 100th anniversary of its first truck, auto auction house Barrett-Jackson collected data on the most expensive Chevy pickups it’s sold.

Nine have hit six figures so far, with one approaching a quarter million dollars.

They all sold in the last few years, as appreciation for vintage truck style and customization grew.

Most expensive is a 1957 Chevy 3100 pickup called Quicksilver for its lustrous paint job. Quicksilver sold for $214,000 in 2016.

Virtually everything about the powerful low-slung pickup was modified by Hot Rod Garage in Sand Springs, Okla., including a 650-horsepower Big Block V-8 and handmade body panels.

More silver paint graces a two-tone 1950 3100 pickup that sold for $205,700 earlier this year. Modifications include a 500-horsepower LS3 V-8, heavy-duty four-speed automatic transmission and independent front suspension.

The rest of Barrett-Jackson’s honor roll of six-figure Chevy pickups:

1957 Chevrolet Cameo Pickup, sold for $159,500 in 2007

1957 Chevrolet C-6 Custom Pickup, sold for $148,500 in 2011

1955 Chevrolet Cameo Custom Pickup, sold for $143,000 in 2013

1955 Chevrolet 3100 Custom Pickup, sold for $132,000 in 2006

1960 Chevrolet El Camino Custom Pickup, sold for $126,500 in 2017

1959 Chevrolet 3100 Custom Pickup, sold for $121,000 in 2014

1971 Chevrolet C-10 Custom Pickup, sold for $110,000 in 2014

All nine trucks were heavily customized, frequently with new engines, suspensions and bodywork.

That’s the good news, if you’re a car lover on a normal person’s budget. The price tags on these professionally reworked beauties show the sky’s the limit, but unmodified vintage pickups and SUVs remain among the best buys for collectors.

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